Skip to main content

We are Terroans, Chewbacca is a Wookie, Yoda is... Yoda and Darth Vader is more machine than Terroan

It seems that NASA has accumulated a lot of indirect evidence for life outside Earth. Of course the prime candidate for extraterrestrial life is Mars. That Mars had lots of liquid water and has detectable methane in the atmosphere and these arguesfor the presence of life or past existence of life. The NASA Viking experiments in 1976, were designed to detect microbial life but the results were inconclusive. The robots landed on Mars but because of the strange soil chemistry, all the biochemistry experiments came out inconclusive.

So astro evolutionary biologist Peter Ward argues that we must accept as very probable that life is common at least in the solar system and even more probable in the cosmos. Much of this life is not complex. But if we accept that there is extraterrestrial life then we have to revise our understanding of what life is.

In biology class we are taught that living things have or can 1) DNA and RNA, 2) are made of cells, 3) reproduce, 4) develop and grow, 5) metabolizes, 6) evolves and 7) be autonomous. These are sure signs of something that's alive. But these define life on Earth. Now Peter Ward calls Earth Life as Terroa.

Viruses seem not to fall into any of these 7 criterion except perhaps they can evolve. Now are viruses alive?

Ward thinks they are if we use the Astrobiologist's definition. The astrobiologist says that "life is a chemical system that can evolve in a Darwinian-Wallacean sense." Viruses do have DNA or RNA and can evolve.

Terroans at present are CHON life forms (carbon, hydrogen,oxygen, nitrogen). But Ward shows us the possibility of other life forms that have other solvents as a medium for metabolism. CHON life requires water. But Ward proposes a hypothesis that there could be silicon based life that requires ethane as a solvent (such as what is found on Saturn's big moon, Titan). Ward's hypothesis says that we don't need Earth like environments for life to evolve.

Ward also says that our technology has come to a point that we can be able to create our own tailor made viruses. If we adopt Ward's definition of life then we have become God! But early in Earth's history life probably was dominated by viruses of the RNA kind. If viruses can live in inhospitable environments, then we can expect something similar on many planets.

Ward who begins his Astrobiology book "Life as we not know it" starts with the Cantina scene in "Star Wars". The Star Wars Universe is a prescient work of sci-fi. It shows the cosmos full of biodiversity and not just stereotypical aliens. Even if in the most fanous barroom scene in the galaxy, Han Solo shoots the bounty hunter, the message goes through: The cosmos is biodiverse.

But according to Ward, aliens are under our noses or in our noses and they give us sneezing bouts.


Popular posts from this blog

President Manuel Luis Quezon's Code of Ethics

Being a denizen of Kyusi, in honour of the man who gave my city its name and for being the most colourful prez the Philippines ever had, I have the pleasure to post Manuel L Quezon's Code of Ethics on his birthday. Let us profit from the wisdom of the Kastila.

1. Have Faith in the Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affection and the source of your happiness and well-being. It's defense is your primary duty. Be ready to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the…

Simoun's lamp has been lit, finally.. not by one but by the many!

"So often have we been haunted by the spectre of subversion which, with some fostering, has come to be a positive and real being, whose very name steals our serenity and makes us commit the greatest blunders... If before the reality, instead of changing the fear of one is increased, and the confusion of the other is exacerbated, then they must be left in the hands of time..."
Dr Jose Rizal "To the Filipino People and their Government"
Jose Rizal dominates the Luneta, which is sacred to the Philippine nation as a place of martyrdom. And many perhaps all of those executed in the Luneta, with the exception of the three Filipino secular priests martyred in 1872, have read Rizal's El Filibusterismo. Dr Rizal's second novel is a darker and more sinister one that its prequel but has much significance across the century and more after it was published for it preaches the need for revolution with caveats,  which are when the time is right and who will instigate it.

Kartilla of the Katipunan

In celebration of Andres Bonifacio Day on Nov 30, I am blogging my English translation of the Katipunan's Code of Ethics or Kartilla (Kartilya). Recruits to the revolutionary association had to learn these by heart. The code was first written by Emilio Jacinto. The Kartilya remains as relevant today as in 1896 .

My apologies for errors in translation. I know there are better translations than this one.

1) A life not spent for a holy and noble cause is like a tree without shade or a noxious weed.

2) Acts that stem from pride and selfishness do not come from a desire to help others..

3) True holiness comes from helping others, charity towards others and the measure of such is in each reasonable act or word.

4) Dark or white your skin may be, all men are equal though one may be greater in knowledge, material wealth, beauty these do not add to one’s humanity.

5) Those who are men of goodwill put honour before concern for self and those who do no good puts the self before honour.

6) For an ho…